When the term “positive thinking” comes to mind, we naturally relate it to the common saying of “the glass is half full” or “look on the bright side”. These phrases may seem useful on the surface level, but positive thinking reaps many benefits that impact your health, work, and life.Researchers are discovering a myriad of evidence pointing to the advantages of positive thinking, which extend from being happy or having an upbeat attitude. Optimistic thoughts can add real value to your life by building skills that will help your future.
Why Negative Thoughts are Limiting
Negative emotions like fear, stress, or anger narrow your mind and limit your thoughts. Thinking in fear makes it easier to act based on instinct like “fight or flight”. Similarly, feeling angry or frustrated limits your thought process to the point where you can’t think anymore. When you feel stressed about having too many things to do, you end up feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list that you don’t get anything done.
These situations portray how negative feelings limit your thought process to other rational decisions. Your brain instinctively shuts off the outside world as it focuses on the emotions of fear, stress, or anger. However, thinking positively widens your outlook, perspective, and actions.
Positive Thoughts Broaden Possibilities
Positive emotions like joy open your mind to more possibilities. Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher from the University of North Carolina, published a paper revealing insights of positive thinking to your brain.
Fredrickson experimented with five groups showing clips that sparked feelings of joy, contentment, anger, or fear. Afterward, the groups were asked to write down on a piece of paper a statement following “I would like to…”
The groups that were shown feelings of joy and contentment wrote down more things than the group who felt anger or fear. This experiment concluded that when you feel positive emotions, your mind opens to wider possibilities.
Aside from this experiment, researchers found that when optimists feel disappointed, they are more likely to focus on things they can do to improve the situation. This means optimists cope better with stress because they think of a plan of action rather than dwelling on the situation. When you let negative thoughts or emotions consume you, your mind limits the possibilities and you’ll accept that there’s nothing to be done. Positive thinking also makes people more resilient. Instead of focusing on a stressful situation, optimists find ways to cope with the problem. As event planners, we try to always look on the bright side even if we’re faced with stressful moments. There is no such thing as impossible!
How to increase positive thinking
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of positive thinking, we’ve gathered several ways for you to become a better optimist and practice thinking positively in your life.
1. Practice Meditation
People who practice daily meditation display more positive emotions. It also helps to deal with stress and improve your mental health. Meditation can be as simple as setting aside 10 to 15 minutes of your day to unwind. We previously wrote about the benefits of meditation as a way to keep event planners stress free. If you need guidance in meditation, try downloading mobile apps like Headspace.
2. Write Positively
A study found out that writing positive experiences daily can improve your mental health and boost your mood levels. This could be as simple as writing a line a day or as extensive as keeping a blog.
3. Work Hard, Play Harder
Last but not least, having time in your day to explore things that bring you joy will help you become more optimistic. In the event planning industry, it’s easy to be consumed by scheduled meetings, conferences, and events that we forget to do something fun. Try scheduling an hour on your schedule for “playtime” where you can explore new things that will allow you to feel excited or build skills.
Anything that helps you feel joy, excitement, love, or anything positive will help sculpt an optimistic mindset. If you’d like to plan an event that sparks joy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you out!
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